Publications by authors named "Rupika S Rajakaruna"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Gastro-intestinal parasites in two subspecies of toque macaque (Macaca sinica) in Sri Lanka and their zoonotic potential.

Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports 2021 Apr 18;24:100558. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Electronic address:

Gastro-intestinal (GI) parasites of primates have a greater potential of becoming zoonotic. This potential may vary in different primates based on multiple factors such as proximity to human settlements and the climate of their habitat. We examined the GI parasites in two subspecies of toque macaque: Macaca sinica sinica (confined to the dry zone) and Macaca sinica aurifrons (confined to the wet zone) of Sri Lanka. Fresh faecal samples were collected and analysed following a modified Sheather's sucrose floatation method. A total of 90.8% (89/98) macaques were infected with one or more parasite species. There was no difference in the overall prevalence of GI parasites between the two subspecies, M. s. aurifrons (95.9%) and M. s. sinica (85.7%; χ;χ = 3.059, p = 0.080). Sixteen parasite species were recorded including, 15 species in the M. s. sinica and 12 species in the M. s. aurifrons. Among the helminths identified, Anatrichosoma sp., Ancylostoma spp., Capillaria spp., Oesophagostomum /Bunostomum spp. and Physaloptera spp. are known to be zoonotic while Ascaris spp., Enterobius sp., Strongyloides spp. and Trichuris spp. have both zoonotic and anthroponotic potential. Among the protozoans, Balantidium coli and Buxtonella sp. are known to be zoonotic, while Entamoeba spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. have both anthroponotic and zoonotic potential. This study provides the first record of Anatrichosoma sp. and Buxtonella sp. in Sri Lanka and the first record of Cryptosporidium spp. in M. s. aurifrons. The molecular data allowed further identification and differentiation of Entamoeba nuttalli and E. coli that are known to be zoonotic and anthroponotic, respectively. The two subspecies of macaques have close interactions with humans; hence, in-depth epidemiological studies are required to understand the potential public-health risks to humans and conservation implications for macaque populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2021.100558DOI Listing
April 2021

Infection sequence alters disease severity-Effects of the sequential exposure of two larval trematodes to tadpoles.

Ecol Evol 2019 Jun 26;9(11):6220-6230. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

Department of Zoology University of Peradeniya Peradeniya Sri Lanka.

Multiple pathogens coexist in nature, and hence, host species often encounter several pathogens simultaneously. The sequence in which the host encounters the parasites influences interactions between parasites and host pathology. Here, the effects of infection by two cercaria (larvae of trematodes) types, pleurolophocercous cercaria of and a furcocercous cercaria, on the tadpoles of common hourglass tree frog () were examined. Ten days posthatch, tadpoles (Gosner stage 27/28) were used for infection exposures. First, in a single infection each cercaria type was introduced to the tadpoles separately. Second, coinfection of the two cercaria was carried out by alternating the sequences of exposure. For all the experiments, appropriate controls were instituted. Tadpoles of all groups exposed to parasites had lower survival levels compared to controls. Among the four groups exposed, the highest survival was observed in the coinfection when furcocercous was introduced first (82.5%). The lowest survival was observed in the coinfection when the cercaria was introduced first (65.0%). In the coinfections, when was introduced prior to furcocercous, survival of the tadpoles was reduced by 17.0% compared to the exposures of furcocercous prior to . Prior infection with induced negative effect on the host with an increased infection severity, while prior infection with furcocercous had reduced infection severity than lone exposures. These results suggest that furcocercous infections can be beneficial for hosts challenged with provided that exposure occurs second. None of the treatments had an effect on the growth of the tadpoles, but lengthening of developmental period was observed in some exposures. All exposed tadpoles developed malformations which were exclusively axial-kyphosis and scoliosis. However, there was no difference in the number of malformed individuals in the single infection (19.0%-25.0%) compared to coinfection (20.0%-22.5%) or between coinfections. The results suggest that the sequence of parasite exposure affects host-parasite interactions and hence the disease outcomes. Understanding the effects of coinfection on disease outcomes for hosts provides insight into disease dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6580301PMC
June 2019

Infections by human gastrointestinal helminths are associated with changes in faecal microbiota diversity and composition.

PLoS One 2017 11;12(9):e0184719. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Investigations of the impact that patent infections by soil-transmitted gastrointestinal nematode parasites exert on the composition of the host gut commensal flora are attracting growing interest by the scientific community. However, information collected to date varies across experiments, and further studies are needed to identify consistent relationships between parasites and commensal microbial species. Here, we explore the qualitative and quantitative differences between the microbial community profiles of cohorts of human volunteers from Sri Lanka with patent infection by one or more parasitic nematode species (H+), as well as that of uninfected subjects (H-) and of volunteers who had been subjected to regular prophylactic anthelmintic treatment (Ht). High-throughput sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, followed by bioinformatics and biostatistical analyses of sequence data revealed no significant differences in alpha diversity (Shannon) and richness between groups (P = 0.65, P = 0.13 respectively); however, beta diversity was significantly increased in H+ and Ht when individually compared to H-volunteers (P = 0.04). Among others, bacteria of the families Verrucomicrobiaceae and Enterobacteriaceae showed a trend towards increased abundance in H+, whereas the Leuconostocaceae and Bacteroidaceae showed a relative increase in H- and Ht respectively. Our findings add valuable knowledge to the vast, and yet little explored, research field of parasite-microbiota interactions and will provide a basis for the elucidation of the role such interactions play in pathogenic and immune-modulatory properties of parasitic nematodes in both human and animal hosts.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0184719PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5593201PMC
October 2017

Effects of tectonics and large scale climatic changes on the evolutionary history of Hyalomma ticks.

Mol Phylogenet Evol 2017 09 15;114:153-165. Epub 2017 Jun 15.

Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Matieland, South Africa. Electronic address:

Hyalomma Koch, 1844 are ixodid ticks that infest mammals, birds and reptiles, to which 27 recognized species occur across the Afrotropical, Palearctic and Oriental regions. Despite their medical and veterinary importance, the evolutionary history of the group is enigmatic. To investigate various taxonomic hypotheses based on morphology, and also some of the mechanisms involved in the diversification of the genus, we sequenced and analysed data derived from two mtDNA fragments, three nuclear DNA genes and 47 morphological characters. Bayesian and Parsimony analyses based on the combined data (2242 characters for 84 taxa) provided maximum resolution and strongly supported the monophyly of Hyalomma and the subgenus Euhyalomma Filippova, 1984 (including H. punt Hoogstraal, Kaiser and Pedersen, 1969). A predicted close evolutionary association was found between morphologically similar H. dromedarii Koch, 1844, H. somalicum Tonelli Rondelli, 1935, H. impeltatum Schulze and Schlottke, 1929 and H. punt, and together they form a sister lineage to H. asiaticum Schulze and Schlottke, 1929, H. schulzei Olenev, 1931 and H. scupense Schulze, 1919. Congruent with morphological suggestions, H. anatolicum Koch, 1844, H. excavatum Koch, 1844 and H. lusitanicum Koch, 1844 form a clade and so also H. glabrum Delpy, 1949, H. marginatum Koch, 1844, H. turanicum Pomerantzev, 1946 and H. rufipes Koch, 1844. Wide scale continental sampling revealed cryptic divergences within African H. truncatum Koch, 1844 and H. rufipes and suggested that the taxonomy of these lineages is in need of a revision. The most basal lineages in Hyalomma represent taxa currently confined to Eurasia and molecular clock estimates suggest that members of the genus started to diverge approximately 36.25 million years ago (Mya). The early diversification event coincides well with the collision of the Indian and Eurasian Plates, an event that was also characterized by large scale faunal turnover in the region. Using S-Diva, we also propose that the closure of the Tethyan seaway allowed for the genus to first enter Africa approximately 17.73Mya. In concert, our data supports the notion that tectonic events and large scale global changes in the environment contributed significantly to produce the rich species diversity currently found in the genus Hyalomma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2017.06.002DOI Listing
September 2017

Combined Effects of Pesticides and Trematode Infections on Hourglass Tree Frog Polypedates cruciger.

Ecohealth 2016 Mar 24;13(1):111-22. Epub 2016 Feb 24.

Postgraduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

The impact of widespread and common environmental factors, such as chemical contaminants, on infectious disease risk in amphibians is particularly important because both chemical contaminants and infectious disease have been implicated in worldwide amphibian declines. Here we report on the lone and combined effects of exposure to parasitic cercariae (larval stage) of the digenetic trematode, Acanthostomum burminis, and four commonly used pesticides (insecticides: chlorpyrifos, dimethoate; herbicides: glyphosate, propanil) at ecologically relevant concentrations on the survival, growth, and development of the common hourglass tree frog, Polypedates cruciger Blyth 1852. There was no evidence of any pesticide-induced mortality on cercariae because all the cercariae successfully penetrated each tadpole host regardless of pesticide treatment. In isolation, both cercarial and pesticide exposure significantly decreased frog survival, development, and growth, and increased developmental malformations, such as scoliosis, kyphosis, and also edema and skin ulcers. The combination of cercariae and pesticides generally posed greater risk to frogs than either factor alone by decreasing survival or growth or increasing time to metamorphosis or malformations. The exception was that lone exposure to chlorpyrifos had higher mortality without than with cercariae. Consistent with mathematical models that suggest that stress should increase the impact of generalist parasites, the weight of the evidence from the field and laboratory suggests that ecologically relevant concentrations of agrochemicals generally increase the threat that trematodes pose to amphibians, highlighting the importance of elucidating interactions between anthropogenic activities and infectious disease in taxa of conservation concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-016-1103-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4852980PMC
March 2016

Multiple Origins of Mutations in the mdr1 Gene--A Putative Marker of Chloroquine Resistance in P. vivax.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2015 Nov 5;9(11):e0004196. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

Centre for Medical Parasitology, Institute of Immunology, and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen and Department of Infectious Diseases, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: Chloroquine combined with primaquine has been the recommended antimalarial treatment of Plasmodium vivax malaria infections for six decades but the efficacy of this treatment regimen is threatened by chloroquine resistance (CQR). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the multidrug resistance gene, Pvmdr1 are putative determinants of CQR but the extent of their emergence at population level remains to be explored.

Objective: In this study we describe the prevalence of SNPs in the Pvmdr1 among samples collected in seven P. vivax endemic countries and we looked for molecular evidence of drug selection by characterising polymorphism at microsatellite (MS) loci flanking the Pvmdr1 gene.

Methods: We examined the prevalence of SNPs in the Pvmdr1 gene among 267 samples collected from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sudan, São Tomé and Ecuador. We measured and diversity in four microsatellite (MS) markers flanking the Pvmdr1 gene to look evidence of selection on mutant alleles.

Results: SNP polymorphism in the Pvmdr1 gene was largely confined to codons T958M, Y976F and F1076L. Only 2.4% of samples were wildtype at all three codons (TYF, n = 5), 13.3% (n = 28) of the samples were single mutant MYF, 63.0% of samples (n = 133) were double mutant MYL, and 21.3% (n = 45) were triple mutant MFL. Clear geographic differences in the prevalence of these Pvmdr mutation combinations were observed. Significant linkage disequilibrium (LD) between Pvmdr1 and MS alleles was found in populations sampled in Ecuador, Nepal and Sri Lanka, while significant LD between Pvmdr1 and the combined 4 MS locus haplotype was only seen in Ecuador and Sri Lanka. When combining the 5 loci, high level diversity, measured as expected heterozygosity (He), was seen in the complete sample set (He = 0.99), while He estimates for individual loci ranged from 0.00-0.93. Although Pvmdr1 haplotypes were not consistently associated with specific flanking MS alleles, there was significant differentiation between geographic sites which could indicate directional selection through local drug pressure.

Conclusions: Our observations suggest that Pvmdr1 mutations emerged independently on multiple occasions even within the same population. In Sri Lanka population analysis at multiple sites showed evidence of local selection and geographical dispersal of Pvmdr1 mutations between sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0004196DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4634971PMC
November 2015

Ticks (Acarina: Ixodida) infesting five reptile species in Sri Lanka with sixteen new host records.

Zootaxa 2015 May 29;3964(1):146-8. Epub 2015 May 29.

Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.; Email:

The first study on ticks on reptiles of Sri Lanka dates back to Seneviratna (1965) who reported ticks from five reptiles. Later studies were either limited to one reptile (Fernando & Fernando 2012), or captive animals in zoos (Fernando & Randeniaya 2009) and household pets (Nathanael et al. 2004). According to the current classification (Guglielmone et al. 2010), all the tick species previously recorded on reptiles belong to five species of Amblyomma: A. clypeolatum Neumann, A. gervaisi (Lucas), A. pattoni (Neumann), A. trimaculatum (Lucas) and A. varanense (Supino). Some of the species listed by Seneviratna (1965) were either synonyms or invalid in respect to the present classification. For example Amblyomma laeve sensu Warburton (1910) is a junior synonym of A. pattoni and A. gervaisii var. lucasi is considered a junior synonym of A. varanense (Guglielmone et al. 2010; D. Apanaskevich pers. comm.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3964.1.11DOI Listing
May 2015

Global and local genetic diversity at two microsatellite loci in Plasmodium vivax parasites from Asia, Africa and South America.

Malar J 2014 Oct 2;13:392. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1 4HT, UK.

Background: Even though Plasmodium vivax has the widest worldwide distribution of the human malaria species and imposes a serious impact on global public health, the investigation of genetic diversity in this species has been limited in comparison to Plasmodium falciparum. Markers of genetic diversity are vital to the evaluation of drug and vaccine efficacy, tracking of P. vivax outbreaks, and assessing geographical differentiation between parasite populations.

Methods: The genetic diversity of eight P. vivax populations (n=543) was investigated by using two microsatellites (MS), m1501 and m3502, chosen because of their seven and eight base-pair (bp) repeat lengths, respectively. These were compared with published data of the same loci from six other P. vivax populations.

Results: In total, 1,440 P. vivax samples from 14 countries on three continents were compared. There was highest heterozygosity within Asian populations, where expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.92-0.98, and alleles with a high repeat number were more common. Pairwise FST revealed significant differentiation between most P. vivax populations, with the highest divergence found between Asian and South American populations, yet the majority of the diversity (~89%) was found to exist within rather than between populations.

Conclusions: The MS markers used were informative in both global and local P. vivax population comparisons and their seven and eight bp repeat length facilitated population comparison using data from independent studies. A complex spatial pattern of MS polymorphisms among global P. vivax populations was observed which has potential utility in future epidemiological studies of the P. vivax parasite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-13-392DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4200131PMC
October 2014

Malformations and mortality in the Asian Common Toad induced by exposure to pleurolophocercous cercariae (Trematoda: Cryptogonimidae).

Parasitol Int 2013 Jun 23;62(3):246-52. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Malformations and increased mortality due to infection by the digenetic trematode, Riberioa ondatrae have been reported for many species of amphibians. Severe malformations have also been reported in the Common Hourglass Tree Frog, Polypedates cruciger induced by pleurolophocercous cercariae in Sri Lanka in addition to the changes in the behaviour, development and survival of the host. We exposed pre-limb bud stage tadpoles (Gosner stages 25-26) of the Asian Common Toad, Duttaphrynus melanostictus to the same pleurolophocercous type cercariae under laboratory conditions. Molecular and morphological identification showed that these cercariae belonged Acanthostomum burminis infecting freshwater snakes as definitive hosts. These cercariae induced malformations (27.8%) and reduced survival to metamorphosis (53.8%). The magnitude of the effects increased with the dose of cercariae. Types of malformations were mainly axial, such as scoliosis and kyphosis. Severe limb malformations such as extra or missing limbs as reported for amphibians exposed to R. ondatrae were not observed in the D. melanostictus. Same authors reported a higher percentage of malformations previously when P. cruciger was exposed to the cercariae A. burminis compared to D. melanostictus. However, tadpoles of D. melanostictus, which are smaller compared to those of P. cruciger, experienced higher mortality than P. cruciger tadpoles. Trematode induced malformations and mortality in amphibians are highly variable and depend on multiple factors such as host species differences such as resistance to infection and tolerance, life-history characteristics such as size at metamorphosis and length of the metamorphosis period, and other factors such as size of the amphibian at the time of trematode exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parint.2013.01.003DOI Listing
June 2013

Analysis of polymorphisms in the merozoite surface protein-3α gene and two microsatellite loci in Sri Lankan Plasmodium vivax: evidence of population substructure in Sri Lanka.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2011 Dec;85(6):994-1001

Centre for Medical Parasitology, Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.

The geographical distribution of genetic variation in Plasmodium vivax samples (N = 386) from nine districts across Sri Lanka is described using three markers; the P. vivax merozoite surface protein-3α (Pvmsp-3α) gene, and the two microsatellites m1501 and m3502. At Pvmsp-3α, 11 alleles were found with an expected heterozygosity (H(e)) of 0.81, whereas at m1501 and m3502, 24 alleles (H(e) = 0.85) and 8 alleles (H(e) = 0.74) were detected, respectively. Overall, 95 unique three locus genotypes were detected among the 279 samples positive at all three loci (H(e) = 0.95). Calculating the pairwise fixation index (F(ST)) revealed statistically significant population structure. The presence of identical 2-loci microsatellite genotypes in a significant proportion of samples revealed local clusters of closely related isolates contributing to strong linkage disequilibrium between marker alleles. The results show evidence of high genetic diversity and possible population substructure of P. vivax populations in Sri Lanka.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.2011.11-0338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3225177PMC
December 2011

Geographic structure of Plasmodium vivax: microsatellite analysis of parasite populations from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Ethiopia.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2010 Feb;82(2):235-42

Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Genetic diversity and population structure of Plasmodium vivax parasites can predict the origin and spread of novel variants within a population enabling population specific malaria control measures. We analyzed the genetic diversity and population structure of 425 P. vivax isolates from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Ethiopia using 12 trinucleotide and tetranucleotide microsatellite markers. All three parasite populations were highly polymorphic with 3-44 alleles per locus. Approximately 65% were multiple-clone infections. Mean genetic diversity (H(E)) was 0.7517 in Ethiopia, 0.8450 in Myanmar, and 0.8610 in Sri Lanka. Significant linkage disequilibrium was maintained. Population structure showed two clusters (Asian and African) according to geography and ancestry. Strong clustering of outbreak isolates from Sri Lanka and Ethiopia was observed. Predictive power of ancestry using two-thirds of the isolates as a model identified 78.2% of isolates accurately as being African or Asian. Microsatellite analysis is a useful tool for mapping short-term outbreaks of malaria and for predicting ancestry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0588DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2813164PMC
February 2010

Pre-elimination stage of malaria in Sri Lanka: assessing the level of hidden parasites in the population.

Malar J 2010 Jan 20;9:25. Epub 2010 Jan 20.

Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Background: With the dramatic drop in the transmission of malaria in Sri Lanka in recent years, the country entered the malaria pre-elimination stage in 2008. Assessing the community prevalence of hidden malaria parasites following several years of extremely low transmission is central to the process of complete elimination. The existence of a parasite reservoir in a population free from clinical manifestations, would influence the strategy for surveillance and control towards complete elimination.

Methods: The prevalence of hidden parasite reservoirs in two historically malaria endemic districts, Anuradhapura and Kurunegala, previously considered as high malaria transmission areas in Sri Lanka, where peaks of transmission follow the rainy seasons was assessed. Blood samples of non-febrile individuals aged five to 55 years were collected from randomly selected areas in the two districts at community level and a questionnaire was used to collect demographic information and movement of the participants. A simple, highly sensitive nested PCR was carried out to detect both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, simultaneously.

Results: In total, 3,023 individuals from 101 villages participated from both districts comprising mostly adults between the ages 19-55 years. Out of these, only about 1.4% of them (n = 19) could recall having had malaria during the past five years. Analysis of a subset of samples (n = 1322) from the two districts using PCR showed that none of the participants had hidden parasites.

Discussion: A reservoir of hidden parasites is unlikely to be a major concern or a barrier to the ongoing malaria elimination efforts in Sri Lanka. However, as very low numbers of indigenous cases are still recorded, an island-wide assessment and in particular, continued alertness and follow up action are still needed. The findings of this study indicate that any future assessments should be based on an adaptive sampling approach, involving prompt sampling of all subjects within a specified radius, whenever a malaria case is identified in a given focus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-9-25DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2818647PMC
January 2010

Island-wide diversity in single nucleotide polymorphisms of the Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthetase genes in Sri Lanka.

Malar J 2007 Mar 9;6:28. Epub 2007 Mar 9.

Centre for Medical Parasitology, Institute for International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark.

Background: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthetase (Pvdhps) genes cause parasite resistance to the antifolate drug combination, sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP). Monitoring these SNPs provide insights into the level of drug pressure caused by SP use and presumably other antifolate drugs. In Sri Lanka, chloroquine (CQ) with primaquine (PQ) and SP with PQ is used as first and second line treatment, respectively, against uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum and/or P. vivax infections. CQ/PQ is still efficacious against P. vivax infections, thus SP is rarely used and it is assumed that the prevalence of SNPs related to P. vivax SP resistance is low. However, this has not been assessed in Sri Lanka as in most other parts of Asia. This study describes the prevalence and distribution of SNPs related to P. vivax SP resistance across Sri Lanka.

Subjects And Methods: P. vivax-positive samples were collected from subjects presenting at government health facilities across nine of the major malaria endemic districts on the island. The samples were analysed for SNPs/haplotypes at codon 57, 58, 61 and 117 of the Pvdhfr gene and 383, 553 and 585 of the Pvdhps gene by applying PCR followed by a hybridization step using sequence specific oligonucleotide probes (SSOPs) in an ELISA format.

Results: In the study period, the government of Sri Lanka recorded 2,149 P. vivax cases from the nine districts out of which, 454 (21.1%) blood samples were obtained. Pvdhfr haplotypes could be constructed for 373 of these. The FSTS wild-haplotype was represented in 257 samples (68.9%), the double mutant LRTS haplotype was the most frequently observed mutant (24.4%) while the triple mutation (LRTN) was only identified once. Except for two samples of the single mutated Pvdhps GAV haplotype, the remaining samples were wildtype. Geographical differences were apparent, notably a significantly higher frequency of mutant Pvdhfr haplotypes was observed in the Northern districts.

Conclusion: Since SP is rarely used in Sri Lanka, the high frequency and diversity of Pvdhfr mutations was unexpected indicating the emergence of drug resistant parasites despite a low level of SP drug pressure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-6-28DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1831779PMC
March 2007
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